Please also see our other blog at

It is more active than this one. Always check there for updates, too.

Northeast Llama Rescue was started by Wes and Darcy Laraway of Middleburgh, NY.

Several years ago they rescued their first llama out of a tiny horse pen. Since that day, Northeast Llama Rescue has helped dozens of Camelids from several different states.
The primary mission of Northeast Llama Rescue is to educate owners on how to properly care for their animals.

We also offer assistance with a traveling chute to shear, worm, and trim toenails on hard to handle animals. A 'TRUE REPUTABLE BREEDER" should help out the llama down the road that is not being cared for by owners that understand the needs of llamas.

If you know of a llama owner who is no longer able to care for their animals, there is help available. Members of Northeast Llama Rescue will adopt any unwanted animals. Rescue animals will be relocated to farms of members for training and necessary vet work.

If a llama is able to be rehabilitated, he will be available after a careful screening process. All rescues are placed in homes with a contract that says they shall be provided for and can not be sold. In the event a rescue animal becomes unwanted, the llama MUST be returned to Northeast Llama Rescue.

If you share our philosophy and love for the animals, you are more than welcome to join us! There are lots of llamas that need a person to love.

We also rescue farm animals, and are licensed wildlife rehabilitators.

This site is copyrighted by Wes Laraway.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Father's Day

I'm sitting here, listening to my new ipod that I got today from my kids. If I start writing the lyrics to Johnny Cash or one of the other great 438 songs on this thing, dont take it personal. I love this thing, tonight when I was giving bottles to 10 screaming Coons, I didn't hear them at all. I was singing along and it made it really pleasant, God I cant wait until these 10 are weaned. I am getting really burned out on coons, I hope that I don't get anymore.

I am not even going to try to catch you all up on the animals that have come in since Thurs when I last blogged. There are too many and each has a cool story. I am going to try to focus on Oscar and facilities. Oscar is doing great. He got the surgery that he needed. Cornell University and the folks that work there are first class and I am in debt to them. Oscar came through the surgery like a champ. It is all too complicated to get into but he got the best medical care that a Bobcat can get after being whacked by a car. He got the expensive surgery he needed and Cornell has agreed to work with me. It was not free, there is still a bill, please send checks. Write in the memo "Oscar" and I will dedicate all of that money to him and Cornell. He has a long way to go, long time to heal and most likely a life in captivity but he is alive and he wont have to worry about anything for the rest of his life. I am still taking everything with him one day at a time. He is in good hands and is still being worked on at the Cornell Wildlife Health Facility.

The other great thing about this ipod is that I cant hear the phone ring.:) Keep calling, the kids will bring me the phone if it is important. We've been busy but I notice that the orphaned and injured wildlife that is coming in is looking a lot older. The one eyed coon has almost completely healed her eye up, I am hoping to put her in with some other coons by the end of the week. I really appreciate the nice donation that the woman that brought her to me sent to cover that surgery. This is my last week of school and then things should be a little less hectic for me as I try to keep everything fed around my school schedule.

Sat. am, Tim and Kristen came up to volunteer at the farm. They had brought me a skunk a few weeks ago and came up to volunteer at our facility for the day. I thought that it was only appropriate to build a skunk pen complete with a hollow log since a baby red fox is in the pen that I made for skunks. We got it built and I ran down to the Negro Cemetery rededication at 2 pm Sat.. Middleburgh has a segregated negro burial ground used up until the early 1900's. When I bought this facility above the Middleburgh Cemetery 10 years ago, I found the Negro Cemetery off in the bushes. For the last 10 years I've been working on getting it cleaned up with my Schoharie County History Class at our High School. The Middleburgh Historical Society helped get a new stone, on it they had engraved "We cannot change the mistakes of the past but we can make right by it today" a saying that I tell my students all the time, esp. when I have them working in the cemetery.

Tim, Kristen and I came back up to the facility after the ceremony to put some skunks in that great new cage. After one sprayed me, they ate their food, one got out. We had to catch that one, triple enforce the sides....I just don't get why nothing is ever easy. I still like skunks a lot right now even after one used me for target practice, I am really tired of baby coons. I like the fawns a lot now also. They eat their bottles out of their bottle racks and wont even come out of hiding if they see me...that is good considering how easy they imprint. It was a long day Sat..... I fell to sleep on the couch in the living room watching a movie with the kids and was pissed when I woke up at 2 am and had to come out and do coon bottles.

The phone started ringing at 630 this morning. I scowled at the caller, "NY Wildlife Rescue Center, it is 630, I'm tired, what do you have".....Friend of mine in North Carolina, wanted to know if I wanted some cigarrettes, they are cheaper down there......gotta quit those things, who will feed all of these darn coons if I die of lung cancer. Every wildlife rehabber should be required get their RVS license because there is not many people doing coons, skunks and bats...
I really want to get this cage, It is seven hundred dollars but it has 3 different would be great for sorting coons (of different ages) while they wean until they get big enough to go in the big community cage. I need it. It isn't a want, it is a necessity.

By 730, I got a call from one of our new volunteers. Melinda was wondering what I was doing (not sleeping) and she said that she had several friends that were handy at building things and wondered if they could come over (I like people that can build things), wish I had a connection with a lumber yard....They all arrived just as I was finishing am rounds with bottles. I told them that I had to pick up two loads of hay and a donated bunny cage. I told them to go look at the Raptor Center, look at exactly how we had built the finished sections and if they wanted to tackle it while I did what I had to do they were more than welcome to work on it. After I got done with a cup of coffee with the wife so I could explain that what I do everyday is exactly what I wanted to do today on my I went. With all of the help I had today, My Summit, NY gang actually almost finished the remaining framing and construction on what was left on the indoor half of the Raptor Center.

We got the hay in. I got everything fed, done and actually took the wife and kids for an ice cream. I like days like today. Besides for a Kestrel that came in, it was a slow day. If you have never been here, you need to visit. I hope to have an open house soon. Ive had a dozen people tell me in the last week that they didn't realize the magnitude that we were helping animals. This is one of the largest not for profit animal rescue facilities in the northeast and we do NOT get any STATE or FEDERAL funding. I repeat, we survive entirely by your generosity. Any body good at grant writing out there? I need someone to take the initiative to start sending our name to Extreme Home Makeover, Animal Planet (would make a great series) or anyplace that can get us the exposure we need to get some donations.

The Raptor Center is half done, the best part is the outdoor flight, which needs to be built yet. Does anyone have a Lumber Co. connection, someone call Curtis Lumber, Stock Builder, Home Depot????I think that I will give a lumber list, everyone that comes to the Open House can bring a board or send a check and we will get it for you. Geeez, I will even build it if I keep getting some help like today. I like volunteers, raccoons too, esp when they are sleeping....maybe I cant hear them, I love this ipod.

...thanks kids,

Friday, June 19, 2009

Cornell University

Oscar the Bobcat has made it to Cornell, it is 100 pm and I still have bottles to do so I am going to try to make this a quick blog (yeah right). Susie and Kristy came back to the Cornell Wildlife health Center to open the place up for the bobcat delievery after hours. I wish that I could be everywhere at once but I cant. Since I last blogged I have been unbelievably busy. Lots of new orphans have come in this week. From baby bats the size of my thumb nail, cottontails, baby birds and a kestral....lots of happy and sad endings, Ill catch all of my readers up to speed tomorrow night. Tonight is Oscar the bobcats lucky night. My readers all know that I am against naming wildlife but this bobcat needs one and it fits. The vet that originally was planning on doing his surgery couldn't. I was really left without many options besides euthanizing this young bobcat. Euthanizing him may still be an option but I wont consider that option unless it is the last choice.
This cat has used 8 of its 9 lives. Our association with Kim Punchar and all of our wildlife rehabber friends downstate are to get my first thanks. They got the cat off of the road, in a crate, got him to their vet and then transported him to New York Wildlife Rescue Center. The bobcat would already be dead if they hadnt gotten him off of the side of the road. I want to thank Trish from Northcountry Wildlife Rescue for meeting my wife halfway between us when I was too busy to get off the mountain to get the xrays to their vet. When that didnt work out, she got the xrays photographed and sent to Cornell. Kelly Martin, President of NY Wildlife Rehab Council and a BOD founder of NY Wildlife Rescue Center has been instrumental in helping me after the bobcat came to our facilty. She is a great friend and shows up daily, usually when I am on Raccoon overload and about ready to lose my mind. She props me up, puts the bottles back in my hands and gets me going forward again. My wife Darcy, besides for being a wildlife rehabber is a saint for picking up the slack for me with the kids, household chores and for putting up with being broke all the time because the animals always come first...... I never thank the people that are part of daily life at New York Wildlife Rescue Center enough, I couldnt keep this place going without them.
It is regents week at school, I miss being in the classroom but am looking forward to summer vacation. I hate the fact that my students have to pass one 3 hour exam on the entire history of the world in order to graduate HS. In between proctoring exams, grading exams, etc....I try to check the computer. I was out yesterday to teach the MCS Elem. school kids from Mrs. Scotts Pre-K classes and Ms. London's 2nd grade students all about wildlife all day....I got the email from Susie that Cornell would take the bobcat (after hours) for surgery tomorrow am. I got out of school (I love the 6 history teachers at MCS) and ran home to meet the USDA vet for our inspection for one of our licenses with them. Oscar was loaded in the truck and waiting for the roadtrip. It is a 6-8 hour round trip to Cornell from where we are, I was falling to sleep driving so I called a friend that owns Unadilla Game Farm (that rescues a lot of exotic animals) and he met me off the exit to ride with me so I didnt fall to sleep. I dont have time to visit with friends, it was nice talking to someone that doesnt want a bottle or that poops on me.
We got to the Cornell Wildlife Health Center. I know Cornell University well. I was going to Cornell's pre-vet program after I studied in South America as an exchange student upon graduation from HS. I decided to go into teaching instead but Cornell has always been a University that I cant say enough good things about. I wouldnt have time to be a vet being Director of New York Wildlife Rescue Center.......:) The bobcat is where he needs to be, he is in the best hands in the USA. After surgery tomorrow, he isnt out in the woods yet. It will be a long healing process with a lot of roadtrips back and forth to Cornell for follow up visits. None of this is going to be easy or cheap. Surgery estimates could be as high as $5000 which I am hoping that we can get some help with through Cornell s networks, our loyal donors and through publicity/press releases that I will start putting together for Northcountry's newsletter, The Release/NY Wildlife Rehab Council's newsletter and newspapers. I do not have the resources to keep paying for construction on the Raptor Center and these additional expenses. WE ARE REALLY SPREAD FINANCIALY THIN. The bobcat is getting the care it needs, we will figure out all of the bills as we go along. I want to keep this positive and I dont want to waste amy of the 3-4 hours I sleep a night thinking about it tonight.
I will blog tomorrow afternoon as soon as I get word how the surgery went. On the way home I stopped quick at Johns Zoo to get a large mammal container made out of aluminum that goes on the back of my truck that he didnt need. He also has a 3 unit steel cage that would be ideal for rehabbing all of these coons that I would really like to get to our facility if anyone out there knows of anyone with a flatbed trailer that wants to help us out. It is about 20 foot long, I will get the exact dimensions. I REALLY NEED SOME HELP in a variety of me privately if you think that you can help us. Wes

Monday, June 15, 2009

Busy Weekend

Sorry I haven't blogged all weekend, been really busy. Let me catch you up to speed. Friday I had a baby raccoon crash, got him jump started and still alive. RVS is tough, if it dies you really have to look at the intake forms carefully. If there is "exposure" it needs to be tested for Rabies. People lie, they touch the animals and it is foolish to lie about it. People need to be honest with how long they have had their "wild" pets illegally. I just picked it up yesterday is often actually a week and that is vital information when trying to save them after a week of care that often is very detrimental. Two RAPTORs moved in to the first two aviaries of the raptor center on Friday night. The first is a Red Tailed Hawk, which is hopefully releasable with some flight time. The other is a Great Horned Owl that will most likely be unreleasable.

Saturday was a busy day trying to get caught up with the "Must Do" list and I tried to get some of the "Need To Do" list done as well. Had a fawn come in that was in really bad shape, worked on her for a long time but she died. Then I got a call on a Bobcat that had been hit by a car downstate. A good friend that is a Licensed Wildlife Rehabber picked up the cat, got it to the vet for xxrays. The young male cat has a broken upper femur, in the ball that goes into the Pelvic bone. Not a good prognosis but can be repaired by a good vet with surgery. I would love to see this cat go back into the wild but that may not be a possibility either but we need to focus on today, getting it fixed and healed....Then we can cross the other bridges when we get to them.

I have a great set up for him to heal. Our friends at NorthCountry are helping us get into the same vet that put the plate in the fawn. The bobcat will hopefully be going up today for an exam and getting surgery today or tomorrow. Check out the photos, pretty angry at the world right now but we will hopefully be able to get him patched up. I love challenging cases like this one, I love tackling the tough critters that a lot of other rehabbers won't, can't or are not licensed to take. I love to do it "First Class--not half-#@^*" and can't wait to see Raptors getting flight time for release in our new facility. Check out the photos of the Bobcat, he is worth saving and I will do what needs to be done to do so.

It was a relatively slow weekend with wildlife intakes. I had calls on a bunch of critters, most of which were dealt with over the phone. I had a Robin that came in Sunday that died almost before the guy left the driveway. Sunday I was on the road, Helped our BOD Linda and her husband on an Alpaca Rescue. These alpacas will be available for adoption to perfect homes once gelded. Their owner was very nice, she lost her husband was taking care of them and knew that it was time for them to go. She did the responsible thing by having Northeast Llama Rescue come in to pick up the animals. Most will be staying permanently with Linda and her Husband Dan. Some of the males will be up for adoption, I will probably keep the gelding that has no ears due to a dog attack to use as a PR animal at our llama events. I will try to blog tonight on anything new that happens.

Till then,

Friday, June 12, 2009

Spring is in the air

Spring is in the air, along with the smells and noises of little animals demanding my attention. Busy night, last night. Had a Cedar Wax Wing come in with a wing injury. Had a Downy Woodpecker fledgling come in that was being attacked by squirrels on the ground under a big tree. Had 8 raccoons come in from two different people.....I have 20 now, I am really hoping that the Raccoon surge slows down now.... Black Eye Susie tore out her eye stitches last night, now I can wrestle around with her to keep the socket lubed with antibotic ointment. Sometimes I just wish that they could cooperate just a little bit. No rest for the wicked, while I take my nap every night they are plotting their destruction of our facility...I love coons but I do hope that no more come in. I had a call on 3 other coons last night also but they went to another RVS facility.
I also dealt with a lot of calls yesterday. Got a chipmunk away from a cat and back into the wild. Got a call about a 3 foot wide snapping turtle at Warners Lake on shore dragging fishing lure behind it with hook through the mouth. Got all of the fishing gear off and got her back in the lake. Turtles are on the move, watch for them in the road. I got another snapper picked up out of the road yesterday by a person that didnt want it to get hit. That snapper got released into Looking Glass Pond. A friend of mine sent a photo he took yesterday of a snapper laying eggs in his yard. I will put the photos on the blog, do not touch these turtles if you are trying to help them. They will bite your fingers right off and usually dont let go easily once they get ahold of you. I carry a rubbermaid bin with 2-3 inches of water in it this time of year on the back of my truck. I pick up turtles and relocate them near water without roads, if you toss a turtle out of the road this time of year, it will usually crawl right back onto the road to get where it was going after you leave. I dont like to relocate them but I do so they dont get hit. I try to keep them where they are, just on the other side of the water that they leaving to lay eggs, where there are no roads.

Photos by Paul Taylor Imaging. Thank you, Paul!

Things are busy. Hope to finish the first half of the Raptor Center this weekend. Have to rescue some alpacas on sunday....... I will try to blog about the rest of my day later. It is "Classday" at school and I need to get ready to beat my students in the hotdog eating contest. I plan on winning at the expensive of my gastro intestinal system. Wes

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Got Sheep?

One of our adoptable Jacobs Sheep.  We still have quite a few sheep and llamas for adoption ... do you have the room and love to care for one of these lovely animals?  Email us through the email link at the bottom of our main website, , if you are interested.

Original photo by our good friend, Paul Taylor,
of Paul Taylor Imaging (thank you, Paul!)

Would you like to help, but don't have the room to adopt?  You can still send a donation through the same website!  Our finances are dwindling and there is still so very much to do.  The rescues, both wild and domestic, continue to come in, taking up our time, our money, and our love.  The love we have in infinite supply, the time is stressful but doable, but we could sure use your financial support.  Visit our Sponsorship Levels Page on the website for more information about our various levels of support. 

SPECIAL DONATION OPPORTUNITY:  we just had a little raccoon baby come in who needed emergency eye surgery.  Would you like to help Pay Her Vet Bill?  Visit and send a donation now!

Northeast Llama Rescue and Barnyard Sanctuary, Inc / New York Wildlife Rescue Center is an IRS 501(c)(3) organization and all donations are tax deductable to the extent allowed by law.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Grand Central

Another busy weekend. Already blogged about Friday, Saturday was
busy with visitors. Had lots of folks stopping to check in on animals
they had previously brought to NY Wildlife Rescue Center got a couple
of donations to keep us in formula. Had 3 Great Students from
Cobleskill HS come over to help volunteer, many hands make light work.
I got 11 of the sheep adopted out into their new home, a great one I
might add. Still have a few really nice Jacobs and Shetland sheep
looking for homes. Sheep numbers are a lot more manageable now. Found
homes (that look long term) for both Great Pyrenees that were returned.
That was the highlight of my weekend, I so want those dogs to get the
good life on a farm that they deserve. I made it clear that a chain on
the side of the barn was not what I had in mind. I had 2 coons come in
on Saturday, 1 fell two stories out of a roof. The other was in the
road, both are younger coons than the ones that came in last weekend.

This morning I was exhausted, I planned on sleeping in until
8 am. Day started at 7am with a phone call from a concerned woman about
English Sparrows messing with the Tree Swallows in her Bluebird Box. We
decided that it was best to let them sort it out for themselves or put
up more nesting boxes. Had another very tiny finch found by a shrub. We
decided that that little guy would be better off back in his shrub and
sent him back home. Another fledgling Morning Dove came in, that one is
getting fixed up to go back out in the wild soon. Had some great folks
stop by that want to adopt 2 llamas. I am loving seeing these llamas
get matched up with perfect homes slowly. I am going to deliever some
of the llamas next weekend to their new homes, I also have to pick up
the 8 alpaca males next weekend. Speaking of domestic animals, I had a
guinea hen and a pair of great turkeys come in today also.

... Falling asleep at the wheel.

Also had a cottontail baby, a baby
woodchuck that was dodging cars but will be alright. Also had a very
old Opossum come in. Took a class on Possums, 3 yrs old for an Opossum
is ancient. This one is pushing it, poor old gal has lost most of her
sight, is skin and bones and will get some TLC. If her injuries from
being hit by a car don't do her in, she will get lots of TLC.... I'm
tired, it is my usual one am, Thanks to everyone that visited this
weekend, I enjoy it when you visit the animals you have brought, your
donations and the kind words.....everyone seems to be amazed at what I
am doing here....sometimes the kind words are all that keeps me going
to the next day.:) My only regret for this weekend is that one board didn't get put on the Raptor Center,


Link: article on animal hoarding

This is a link to Gayle's recent article on animal hoarding, a disease that seems to be on the increase today:

Northeast Llama Rescue by Wes Laraway

The Northeast Llama Rescue was started by Wes and Darcy Laraway several years ago after they rescued their first llama out of a tiny horse pen. Since that day, the Northeast Llama Rescue has helped dozens of animals in 5 states. The primary mission of Northeast Llama Rescue is to educate owners on how to care for their animals properly. We also offer assistance with a traveling chute to shear, worm and trim toenails on hard to handle animals. If owners get "tired" of the daily maintenance of their herds, members of the Northeast Llama Rescue will adopt or buy, if possible, any unwanted animals. Rescue animals go to the farms or members of the organization.

The Northeast Llama Rescue does not wish to compete with other rescue organizations, although any llama or alpaca is welcome. We need to cooperate to help ALL camelids, not just registered or "nice-looking" ones. Everyone has the right to breed and sell llamas, but a true reputable breeder will "help out" the llama down the road that is not being cared for, regardless of its age, sex or conformation.

Our last rescue came from Central New York. A farm had purchased 9 animals from a Midwest auction. Four of the animals had died from natural causes....starvation? The owner had health problems and no longer wanted the animals. After several other concerned people failed to negotiate their sale, I eventually called and within five minutes we had agreed on a price and the deal was done. The next night, Wes Laraway, Kim Scheurerman and P.J. Wagner went to pick up the animals. The owner informed us that the llamas were wild and could not be handled. Within five minutes all were calmly caught, on lead ropes and in the trailer, with us using a wand and some TEAM Training techniques. The owner thought I was the "llama whisperer" because I got those llamas to do things in five minutes that she couldn't do in a year. She unfortunately knew nothing about handling llamas.

Three hours later, we were back into quarantine at Red Maple Farm starting "damage control". The animals were immediately wormed, fed fresh hay and grain, and watered. All were body scored under three by sight and by feeling through their wool. This hands-on inspection revealed barbed wire that needed to be cut out of the fiber. We decided NOT to shear because it was too late in the year and they were too thin.

Another concern was an ingrown halter. One of the best ways to remove ingrown halters is to undo the buckle(s) and cut the nose band with sharp toenail clippers on each side of the nose. Then gradually, over time, the remaining pieces will fall out. With application of an antibiotic cream, any wounds from the ingrown halter will heal quickly. In this particular case, the halter came out of the nose and was added to the "wall of shame" in our barn (along with the barbed wire and ear tags still on them from the auction they were purchased from). The blood stream stopped within fifteen minutes and now, after a month, we can tell that scarring will be minimal. Please tell everyone you know that owns camelids, NEVER leave a halter on a llama! Even in a week, with wet conditions, a halter can embed itself in a llama's nose.

My biggest concern was the 10 month old female that was exposed to her father. If bred, we decided to abort the unborn cria for the safety and well-being of the young female. None of these five animals were over the age of three years. All of them, over the following months, would need intense care and proper nutrition. The animals were all updated on health requirements and gelded. All of these animals would need training before they could go up for adoption.

New problems continuously arose. Two weeks after they arrived, one of the females surprised us with a weak, constipated fourteen pound male cria. Within hours I knew it wasn't "normal" so mom and baby were moved to a quarantine pen in the barn. The decision was made to supplement the cria with goat colostrum and give him an enema. Although the cria was walking, he continued to strain to relieve himself. Around the clock surveillance did not reveal any nursing or defecation. At two days old, I found very small maggots between the cria's toes and by his umbilical cord. After consulting my vet again, the cria got a bath and dried out in the heated office before going back to mom in the barn. My vet explained that crias born on rainy days must be completely dry or flies will lay eggs in moist areas of umbilical fluid. I've never heard of this problem before but I know now to check my newborn crias for maggots every day. After five days of constant care, we lost "Trooper"....I guess it was not meant to be, but we tried.

The rest of the animals are doing well today. Concerned individuals found them, bought them and will protect them. Today is actually a special day, because the vet did fecals on them and all five of them are parasite free and can join our llama herd. After training and further rehabilitation, by Spring 2001 this group of animals will be available for adoption to carefully approved homes. All animals sold or placed by Northeast Llama Rescue will be adopted with a legal contract. The contract states that if the llama ever becomes unwanted or is not cared for properly, the animal will return to Red Maple Farm for a full refund. I used to think I could save every unwanted llama in the world...I know that I can't . It is too great an undertaking for one farm to rescue all the unwanted camelids out there. For this reason, several other farms have joined in the effort with Red Maple Farm to pool resources and save neglected and unwanted camelids.

Any farm that shares our philosophy that every llama deserves a life with proper care is welcome to join us. We are people who genuinely love all llamas and want to make a difference one llama at a time. Eventually we will print an educational brochure to hand out at events with member farms listed. Don't just tell people that you love your llamas; show people by making a difference and actually save one. Always quarantine new animals for at least one month while getting wormings, vaccines and nutritional needs in order. Always do a fecal exam and consult your vet about when new animals should go out with the herd. Geld all males and most of all BE PATIENT. Llamas are very forgiving animals and will learn to love and trust again with gentle care and training.